35. Bailey

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I thought at first that maybe Evan was interested in me, but it turns out that he is just a genuinely nice person. He offered to be my partner in beer pong, but we kept getting interrupted by his acts of kindness.

We saw a girl puking in the bushes in the front yard, and he ran over to hold her hair back. And then offered to call her boyfriend to come pick her up. I asked him who she was when he returned to the game, but he said he'd never seen before. Then we saw a cat in the road, so he ran out, picked it up and carried to the neighbors' front porch. He had apparently seen them let it in earlier in the day.

Even though he lives in the house where the party was at, he still offered to walk me home just to make sure I got there okay. I assured him that between Derek, Abby and Patrick--whose name I finally learned when Evan introduced himself--I would be fine. I still appreciated the offer, though.

"Soooo, that dude was very into you," Abby says on the walk home.

"Who? Evan?" I ask innocently.

She rolls her eyes. "Yeah, Evan."

"No. I think he's just a nice guy. He was just being polite." I try to change the subject. "Plus, did you hear him when he missed that one shot? He actually said 'what the heck'!"

"I thought that was kind of cute"

The truth is, I did too.

"So you didn't give him your number, then?" She asks.

"Well...yeah I did, but he probably won't text me anyway."

He had asked me for my phone as we were leaving tonight, and when I handed it to him, he texted himself from it. "I'll be in touch," he said. I was surprised by the fluttering it caused in my stomach when he smiled at me. The last person to cause that reaction was Nick.

That thought makes my stomach ache. I run my hands over my midsection in response. "You girls hungry?" Patrick asks from behind us.

"Fuck yes!" Abby says, and looks at me.

I really just want to go to my room and sleep. Now that Nick has entered my brain, I know he won't go away. But the hopeful look on Abby's face makes me change my mind. I think my mom was right, I need to put myself out there. It worked tonight. I barely thought about him at the party, well that probably wasn't true. But I definitely thought about him less.

"Yeah, where to?" I ask.

The four of us end up in an all-night diner filled with college kids who are just as inebriated as we are. We all get hamburgers, and I laugh more than I have since the night of the blackout.

The thought irritates me. Everything in my life seems to be "Before Nick" or "After Nick." I know I have to get past him, but he keeps creeping his way into mind. I have to quit allowing it.

I make my way to Abby's room the next day. We didn't get home until four in the morning, so I ended up sleeping until noon. If I were home, my mom would have been pissed. She always made a point of waking Ian and I up no later than nine--even in the summer. I think I just figured out one of the great things about college life--sleeping in on the weekends.

Abby answers the door when I knock, and I'm glad I didn't wake her up, although she's still in her pajamas. Her roommate is on the other side of the room, watching her computer with headphones on. She waves at me, and then refocuses on whatever she's watching.

"So I need some advice," I say as Abby and I flop down on her bed.

"I'm great at advice," she jokes.

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